There are times when the Wi-Fi network just can't give you the connection to the internet you need. Perhaps you are at work and the Wi-Fi just can't cope with all the iPads and iPhones accessing it so it slows your browsing to a crawl (or your boss decides to change the password for the same reason).

Maybe you are in a hotel and can't connect all your devices to the room's Wi-Fi at once. Or possibly you want to allow someone onto your Wi-Fi but you don't want to give away the password.

Or perhaps it's the end of the month and you are running out of data on your mobile network plan. You don't have to stop surfing! It's easy to create a hotspot from your Mac and share your connection with other devices via Wi-Fi, we'll show you how.

How to share Wi-Fi from a Mac to an iPhone

What you need: You will need to have an Ethernet connection to your Mac.

  1. Open System Preferences and select Sharing. If you don't see the below screen, click on the icon showing 12 dots.
  2. Click on Internet Sharing.
  3. Beside 'Share your connection from:' choose Ethernet.
  4. Below that, beside 'To computers using:' choose Wi-Fi.
  5. Next click Wi-Fi Options, this will give you the option to choose a password so that strangers can't jump on your Wi-Fi (it should be least eight characters). Next to Security choose WPA2 Personal and then enter your Password and verify it. (WPA2 is the 802.11i standard for encryption.)
  6. Now click on the box beside Internet Sharing.
  7. Confirm that you want to turn on Internet sharing by clicking Start.
  8. You have now created a Wi-Fi hotspot using your Mac. Note that where you would normally see that you had a Wi-Fi signal, now you see an icon with an arrow indicating that you are sharing your connection.
  9. Now on your iPhone or iPad go to Settings > Wi-Fi and select the network you just created.
  10. Enter the password you set and you are good to go.
  11. To add a second Mac to your Wi-Fi hotspot click on the Wi-Fi icon at the top of the screen and select the name of the Wi-Fi hotspot you wish to join.
  12. Now enter the password for that Wi-Fi network
  13. Happy surfing.

We also have an article that explains how to share the data connection from your iPhone to your Mac so you can get online. And if you are looking for ways to extend your Wi-Fi network, or avoid dropouts read: How to boost your WiFi connection on a Mac.